Member of Islamic Fundamentalist Party Takes Over as Johannesburg Mayor

Thapelo Amad (Sharon Seretlo / Gallo via Getty)
Sharon Seretlo / Gallo via Getty

Thapelo Amad, a member of the Islamic fundamentalist party Al Jamah-ah, was chosen as mayor of Johannesburg, South Africa, despite representing a tiny faction in the city council.

Amad, whose party advocates government by Islamic principles, has no national or provincial representatives, and just three city council members out of 270, following municipal elections in 2021.

Yet he was the consensus pick of a coalition of minority parties who joined to oust the incumbent mayor, Mpho Phalatse, who represents the Democratic Alliance, the country’s leading opposition party.

Last year, as Breitbart News reported, the African National Congress (ANC) led an effort to oust Mpho after she had been in office just a few months. The ANC is losing support nationwide but is determined to prevent the opposition from gaining a foothold in local government.

That effort was declared unconstitutional by the courts, and Mpho was restored to office. She was ousted last week by another no confidence vote, however, and replaced by Amad, with the support of the ANC-led minority.

Johannesburg now becomes the first major city in South Africa to be led by an Islamic party. Amad promised to achieve progress in the first 100 days for all residents, who are suffering under the burden of decaying public services, electricity shortages, economic stagnation, and violent crime.

“Today I humbly request that you all hold my hand as we purposefully unite to address the pressing challenges bedevilling our city. We must accept that as this administration, we will not be able to achieve much if we do not work with broader society. We must foster partnerships and where they exist, we must strengthen them,” Amad said, as quoted by the Daily Maverick.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.